DAILY NEWS: Madstone Digital Distribution; Bermuda Announces Its Winners; Lions Gate's Rapper Pic
by Eugene Hernandez and Anthony Kaufman/indieWIRE
>> Madstone Pushes Forward on Digital Distribution Plans by Acquiring Wrubel
(indieWIRE/05.01.01) -- Madstone Films is getting closer to making a
theatrical "Digital Distribution Network" a reality. The company, already
known for signing directors Lisa Siwe, Aaron Woodley and Joan Stein to produce digital video features for the company under a two-year contract,
recently signed on former New Yorker Films exec Susan Wrubel as Vice
President of Film Acquisitions. While the company continues to search
internationally for more filmmakers to add to its slate, Wrubel will be
acquiring and programming films for the company's as yet to be announced
theatrical distribution outlets.
Earlier this year, Madstone put up a bid to purchase the bankrupt Silver
Cinemas, whose subsidiary Landmark Theater Corp. comprises the top art-house chain in the country. Though Madstone withdrew their offer, they look to be
close to solidifying other exhibition possibilities; within the year, the
company expects to have theaters in 10-15 of the top markets. Their mission
is to devote one screen per theater to digital projection which will feature
a wide variety of programming, including DV features made by Madstone's
in-house directors, films, series, and retrospectives secured by Wrubel, as
well as non-film product like music concerts, fashion shows and sporting
Despite the range of exhibition possibilities, Wrubel maintains, "We're
going to be a true art-house company." Wrubel will be in Cannes next week,
heading up the acquisitions charge for the fledgling company and competing
with her former associates. "Shooting Gallery, Winstar, and New Yorker will be our competition," noted Wrubel, who helped acquire and release such
titles as Claire Denis' "Beau Travail," and Iranian films such as Abbas
Kiarostami's "The Wind Will Carry Us" and Bahman Farmanara's "Smell of Camphor, Fragrance of Jasmine." "A lot of the stuff I was looking at for New
Yorker will be the same [as at Madstone]," Wrubel told indieWIRE. "I'd still
definitely go after Iranian films."
In a prepared statement, Madstone CEO Tom Gruenberg said, "She [Wrubel] is
uniquely suited to us not only because of her established record in the
world of independent, foreign and classic film, but also for her remarkable
knowledge of pop culture. Susan's expertise and commitment to broadening the
theatrical experience will be a boon not only to Madstone, but to moviegoers
nationwide." [Anthony Kaufman]
>> Bermuda Awards "Jalla, Jalla," "Hybrid" and "Sandstorm"
(indieWIRE/05.01.01) -- The 4th Bermuda International Film Festival (April
20-26) announced the winners of its juried awards last week: of the
15-feature competition, Josef Fares' Swedish hit comedy "Jalla Jalla,"
having its North American premiere, won Best Feature; Monteith McCollum's
"Hybrid" continued its winning streak with a Best Documentary kudos; and
Indian director Jagmohan's feminist tale "Sandstorm" received the Audience
The Best Short prize went to Fanta Regina Nacro's story of a downtrodden
housewife "Close Up On Bintou," which screened in a special section devoted
to African shorts. The festival also awarded their special Prospero Award to
British director John Madden ("Shakespeare in Love," "Captain Corelli's
Mandolin.") Actress/writer Tama Janowitz and film critic Richard Schickel headed this year's jury. [Anthony Kaufman]
>> Lions Gate Down with Dre and Snoop, Pooh's New Film Also to Feature Eminem
(indieWIRE/05.01.01) -- Lions Gate Film has announced the start of
production next week on "The Wash," a new film on the fast track, that will
be written, directed and produced by D.J. Pooh and star Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg. The pair of rappers will also create new music for the film, and be
joined in the mix by pop rap star Eminem. Lions Gate is producing the movie
with Pooh, aka Mark Jordan's, Lithium Entertainment.
"The Wash," described as "an urban comedy set against the backdrop of a busy
carwash," will be released this Winter, according to a Lions Gate announcement yesterday.
"People will get a chance to see the funny side of Dre and me," said Snoop
Dogg, in a prepared statement. "This will be the funniest movie since
'Harlem Nights.'" [Eugene Hernandez]
>> YESTERDAY in indieWIRE DAILY NEWS:
(indieWIRE/04.30.01) -- "Kissing Jessica Stein" and "Kaaterskill Falls" took
top awards at the Los Angeles Film Festival and a look at the biz taking
place at the 2001 LAFF."
GET YESTERDAY'S Daily News @ indieWIRE.com:
>> CORRECTIONS: Micah Green; LA Film Fest Winner
(indieWIRE/05.01.01) -- Micah Green is a representative of Cinetic Media,
not Sloss Law as was incorrectly attributed in yesterday's edition of
Also, in yesterday's report on the winners of the LA Film Festival, we
inadvertently left out the full title of Charles Herman-Wurmfeld's film, it
is "Kissing Jessica Stein."
We apologize for the errors.